If you’re thinking about buying a home, going solo is NOT the way to go and it’s not a good idea to go direct to the listing agent either. You think the listing agent is going to cut their commission in half because there’s no buyer’s agent?? Actually, they’re more likely to pocket TWICE what they would have made if you had your own representation AND they legally can’t tell you that you’re overpaying for the house! So you REALLY need to have your own agent representing JUST you and not the seller!
Here are 10 key tips about working with a buyer’s agent:
1) You’re getting the exclusive use of an irreplaceable resource when you hire us: our time. Time is the most valuable resource we have, and it means were focused ONLY on you while we’re out looking at homes.
2) You’re gaining our local expertise. We’ve spent years gaining key market knowledge so we can meet your needs. Local events, schools, politics, you name it, we’ve been listening to the local heartbeat.
3) We’re experienced at reading a home and knowing the story behind the sale. The clues may be subtle, but they’re often there. And that understanding can lead to a better deal for you.
4) Pick ONE agent to work with, not 2, 3 or more. All agents are working from the same MLS information. You give us the same criteria and we’re going to be VERY close to having the exact same list of possible homes for you. Loyalty is a two way street, and if you’re “cheating” on us, we’ll want a divorce.
5) We only get paid when you BUY a home with us (and our fee is paid by the seller, not you). All those hours of work we do for you and then you walk let another agent write the offer? Or suddenly “cousin Sue” pops up and demands you work with her? Let’s just say, put on our shoes and how would you feel about that?
6) We work new construction too, but you have to give us the opportunity to help you. The reputable builders are expecting you to bring an agent, it’s built into their cost model. When you show up solo, they DO NOT give you a price break, and they’re also working in THEIR best interest, not yours. They’ll be friendly, helpful, etc., but ultimately it’s THEIR best interest they’re working for.
7) We can help you with FSBOs aka For Sale By Owners, at least in most cases. We’ll approach the owner and in most cases they’re willing to pay for a buyer’s agent, just not a listing agent. However, some owners refuse to work with agents so if you want THAT HOUSE, we need to talk about our compensation for representing you (remember, this is how we earn a living, so working for free isn’t an option).
8) Who knows more about real estate? Us or your coworker/golfing buddy/hair stylist? And because real estate is local, we know more than your relative whose an agent in another state. It’s in our best interest to provide you the best possible information and advice.
9) We’re big boys and girls. If things aren’t working out, just say so. We’d rather have you be upfront about it that just stop answering emails, texts and phone calls.
10) We don’t care who the listing agent or company is. If the home fits you, we’re showing it. Every brand, RE/MAX, Coldwell Banker, Sibcy Cline, etc.
BONUS: We’re not home inspectors, but we see a LOT of homes and we’ve learned to watch for a lot of the common defects that might cost you big bucks later.